Healthy Relationship News – March 2013









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 As she nibbled on strawberry shortcake, Jessica LaShawn, a flight attendant from Chicago, tried not to get ahead of herself and imagine this first date turning into another and another, and maybe, at some point, a glimmering diamond ring and happily ever after.


She simply couldn’t help it, though. After all, he was tall, from a religious family, raised by his grandparents just as she was, worked in finance and even had great teeth.


Her musings were suddenly interrupted when her date asked a decidedly unromantic question: “What’s your credit score?”




There is no shortage of answers about how to improve our nation’s schools, including more charter schools, school vouchers, standardized testing, lower teacher-student ratios and performance-based hiring, pay and promotion of teachers.


The omission of “the father factor” is especially troubling in light of research released last month that examined family trends in 45 countries and how children’s educational success is affected by their parents. The “World Family Map” report by Child Trends, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, found that even when controlling for income, children in middle- and high-income countries who live with two parents have better educational outcomes than children living with one or no parents.



Early Childhood Research and Practice

Effects of Relationship/Marriage Education on Co-parenting and Children’s Social Skills: Examining Rural Minority Parents’ Experiences   


Research indicates that the quality of co-parenting and couple relationships has an impact on parenting and on children’s development, including their social skills and academic abilities. However, few applied studies have tested whether efforts to enhance the couple and co-parenting relationship result in benefits to the children, and no research exists that tests these assumptions with underrepresented populations.  


Relationship education participants demonstrated better outcomes than the control participants in the area of co-parenting disagreements and reported positive effects on preschool children’s social competence. Participants’ scores on both measures show significant improvement at one-year follow-up, while control parents and their children demonstrate more co-parenting disagreements and decreases in children’s social competence.  


This promising early finding, if validated through final results of the study, may lead to enhanced family programming that includes marriage and relationship education as a means to promote more pro-social behaviors in children.


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National Clearinghouse on Family and Youth What Else Happens to Young People Who Experience Dating Violence? 


Everyone knows that dating violence harms young people. But which negative experiences are most likely to go hand-in-hand with dating violence? Knowing what else youth in harmful relationships experience might help youth service providers stop dating violence before it starts.


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How Can Youth Workers Recognize Teen Dating Abuse? 


Q: I work with young people who often confide to me about their boyfriends or girlfriends. Sometimes the details don’t sound healthy to me. How can I know if a young person is in a violent dating relationship? And what can I do to help?  


A: Dating abuse can be difficult for outside observers to detect, says Megan Belden, a staff attorney in the Washington office of the anti-dating violence group Break the Cycle.



Orlando Sentinel

Teen dating study shows growing threat of cyber abuse 


The abuse began soon after she “unfriended” him on Facebook for posting sexual comments. That’s when he turned to threats and stalking. His target, a young student at the University of Central Florida whom he’d met in class, took out a restraining …


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Explore dating, love, sex, and social media with new videos

Dating for Real

Dating for Real DVD


Young people are seen discussing their values and attitudes about intimacy, sex and dating violence. They explain that communication is vital to building trust and intimacy. The pressure to have sex is discussed in open-ended exchanges with candid youth along with the importance of setting limits and communicating honestly.



Me and My 500 Friends

Me and My 500 Friends


This timely program provides teens with an essential safety primer on using social networks such as Facebook. Through interviews with experts and real-life young people, teens learn that social networks can be a useful tool for communication and connection, but also pose significant risks.



What is Love? What is Sex?

What is Love? What is Sex?

For young adults, it is easy to fall into the trap of believing that love equals sex. At the same time that many teens are struggling to learn what it means to be in a healthy, intimate relationship, they are also bombarded by messages in the media implying that sex is the pinnacle of love.  


By following actual teenage relationships as they develop and by interviewing a variety of young people about their feelings and experiences, your students will gain insight into the complex issues of love and sex.


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Self-Sufficiency Research Clearinghouse


Family formation and Family Structure Website   



According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between 1970 and 2005 the percentage of children living in two-parent families dropped from 85% to 68%. The Family Formation and Family Structure website explores key issues related to the changing family unit such as cohabitation, family formation and dissolution, and family stability that impact the well-being of families.  


This section also highlights programs and approaches being utilized by the self-sufficiency field to address the needs of changing families, including: fatherhood initiatives, teen pregnancy prevention programs, and other programs targeting low-income families and children.




Healthy Relationships 101 Collages 


We’re talking a lot this month about what makes up a bad or abusive relationship…but as important as it is to recognize a negative relationship, it’s also really important to understand what makes up a healthy relationship. We asked members of the National Campaign’s teen advisory group to help us define what things make up a healthy relationship and they took it a step further: they made awesome collages featuring images and words that make them think of love, trust, communication, and anything else that’s key in a good relationship.


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Dibble Webinars   

Love Is In The Air! Preparing Students for Safe Proms and Spring Breaks


Join us for a Webinar on March 13

 Register Now 



We often teach young people how to protect their bodies, but we seldom help them protect their hearts. Young people can learn low-risk dating strategies that help them avoid the pitfalls of spontaneous romantic encounters.  


Objectives: Learn the relationship skills that encourage self-regulation and maturity, strategies for exciting precarious situations, and approaches others are using to help young people be more cautious and protect their hearts.  


Guest presenter: Nancy Lenk, Outreach Educator, The Dibble Institute


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Office of Adolescent Health  

Pregnancy Assistance Fund 


The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) has announces the availability of funding “for competitively awarded grants for the development and implementation of programs for expectant and parenting teens, women, fathers, and their families“.  


Some of the stated goals of the grant are to:  


“implement programs to improve child and maternal health outcomes; improve pregnancy planning, strengthen co-parenting relationships and marriage where appropriate, decrease intimate partner violence and raise awareness of available resources.”  


Allowable activities include:

– Education to improve parenting skills, including teaching mothers and fathers about the developmental needs of infants and young children, and how to relate to each other and strengthen relationships or marriages where appropriate.  

– Healthy Relationships  

– Financial literacy  


Let us know how we can help you craft a strong application with evidence based and informed materials, staff training, logic models and more.  


Letters of intent are due March 15th and full applications on April 10th.




Research and Evaluation on Violence Against Women: Teen Dating Violence, Sexual Violence, and Intimate Partner Violence 


NIJ seeks applications for research related to teen dating violence (also known as adolescent relationship abuse). In particular, NIJ is seeking proposals that support postdoctoral fellows to analyze existing data or collect new data on teen dating violence in understudied populations.  


Research proposed may be focused at the Federal, State, local, tribal, juvenile justice policy, and practice levels. Deadline April 22, 2013.  


Grants Address Poverty Issues in South Carolina



Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina


Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina: Caritas Fund


The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina works continually to address the needs of the poor and underserved in South Carolina. The Foundation’s Caritas Fund provides grants to nonprofit organizations and faith-based agencies based in South Carolina that provide outreach services in order to meet the basic needs of the poor. The first Caritas Fund application deadline for 2013 is April 2.



Domestic Violence Shelters Funded

The Mary Kay Foundation – Shelter Grant Program 


The Mary Kay Foundation is committed to ending the epidemic of domestic violence by providing grants to women’s shelters throughout the United States. Applying organizations must offer immediate overnight housing to women and children affected by domestic violence. The grants provided by the Foundation may be used for the operating budget of the shelter, with the exception of staff travel. Applications will be accepted from January 15 to April 30, 2013. Visit the Foundation’s website to review the funding guidelines and download the application forms.  


(Editor’s Note: Teaching healthy relationship skills, drawing the line of respect, and exiting relationships safely are educational programs often in a shelter’s operating budget. The application asks about innovative programs and teaching survivors how to get smart about their love lives would certainly be one!)


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Where is Dibble now?

Come see us!


March 7-8, 2013

Wichita, KS

Workshop: How to Prepare, Enrich and Inspire Teens!

Presenter: Joyce Huff


March 20-23, 2013

San Diego, CA
Workshop:  What’s Love Got to do With It?
Presenter:  Joyce Huff


April 12, 2013

Grand Isle, NE

Workshop: What Is Your Money Habitude?
Presenter: Joyce Huff


April 14-17, 2013

2013 Best Practices Forum on Dropout Prevention 

Kansas City, MO


– What Is Your Money Habitude?

– Building Relationships and Connections

Presenter: Joyce Huff


April 24-26, 2013

Denton, TX
Workshop:  The Missing Link: Preventing Child Abuse by Teaching Teens Relationship Skills
Presenter:  Janet Pozmantier

May 15-17, 2013

Adolescent Pregnancy and Prevention Campaign of North Carolina 

Greensboro, NC

Workshop: Charting a Path To Making Decisions about Sex and Healthy Relationships

Presenter: Dixie Zittlow


May 20-22, 2013

3rd Annual Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grantee Program 

Baltimore, MD

Workshop: The Power of Integrating Pregnancy Prevention & Healthy Relationships Education 

Panelist: Marline Pearson

June 26-29, 2013

American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences National Conference

Houston, Texas

Workshop: What’s in Your Wallet? Using EQ Strategies to Build Financial Resiliency

Presenter: Janet Pozmantier


July 14-15, 2013

Kentucky Association of Careers and Technical Education 

Louisville, KY


– What are Your Money Habitudes?

– Things to Know Before You Say Go

Presenter: Nancy Lenk


Would you like a Dibble Outreach Educator at your conference? Email Irene Varley, Director of Education, at to find out how.


Please let us know if you are having an open to the public event featuring Dibble curricula. We would be happy to help you publicize it.


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